Having shifted a massive 4 stone (that's 25kg or 56lb) in less than seven months, I fully appreciate the benefits of weight loss. Moving around is easier - there is less stress on my internal organs and my joints, even going up and down the stairs used to make my knees hurt, I feel better, happier and more confident, I look better. Losing the weight has only been a small part of this experience for me (sorry, I simply can't bring myself to use the word journey *cringe*) and I feel it is important to remember that it isn't a diet, it isn't just about losing weight & fitting into smaller clothes, it's a lifestyle change.
As well as the pound loss, I've lost a considerable number of inches from my whole body - 35 at the last count. I also have little bosom of which to speak any more but then again, it's easier to fit 34Cs into clothes than 38DDs and I can always buy myself a new pair in the future should I so desire. I also don't have to deal with gaping shirts or backache, and they are well proportioned to my now size 8/10 frame. So every cloud and all that.
My fitness levels have improved enormously. I am capable of so much more than I ever thought was possible at the beginning of the year. From getting out of breath from running up the stairs, I can now run a mile and a half without stopping or slowing down to catch my breath which is a massive achievement for me, and I am improving week on week. I live at the top of a hill, and on my many trips up & down to the pool or to the library with the kids I remember how I used to struggle and get out of breath. Last night I walked up it whilst having a conversation & didn't have to stop or slow my pace.
In addition to all of these amazing benefits, I haven't had a headache since before Christmas and my gums no longer bleed when I am brushing my teeth. I also don't get 'sugar hangovers' any more, and even when I allow myself a treat here and there I know when to stop and don't binge on it. I've learned it's okay to treat myself, but that I need to do it responsibly and exercise to balance it out, too. It's been a steep learning curve.
|24 weeks of hard work!|
I have learned so much about my body and how to take care of it, including how to maintain my weight loss & fitness goals even when enjoying a holiday, and learning to prep food in advance and use meal planning to my advantage. I keep a food diary on myfitnesspal to keep track of what I am eating because it is so easy just to graze through the day when you are busy without realising what you have consumed.
But by far and away the most important thing about all of this for me, is being a role model for the children. I'm not a perfect mum (and newsflash - there is no such thing) and I make plenty of mistakes, but I want to set good examples for the kids. I've given up smoking (I am six years smoke-free next month) and now I am maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regime, teaching them how to eat well and to stay active.
I don't want to be a fat mum that is embarrassed to swim with them and won't play with them on the beach because I am worried about what other people think of how I look. To be honest I stopped caring what other people think a long time ago, and now the most important thing for me is having confidence in myself & my body, which I do have now.
I will walk down the street in a dress or on the beach in a bikini without wanting to cover myself up, I will play with my children in the sea and the pool and not feel self-conscious, I will take them out running with me, or even out SUP boarding or on a kayak on holiday. I will be a good role model, and I will continue to encourage healthy habits as I already have done for years with all the sports and activities that the kids take part in on a weekly basis. I will let my husband and children take my photo, & be present in our family memories instead of using the camera to hide behind.
There are some things as a parent that I don't always get right, but this I can - being a fitter, healthier, happier mum is something that we all benefit from.